Heat Behavior in Mare? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-02-2013, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Question Heat Behavior in Mare?

Hi all,
Our pony mare is usually next to bottom of the pecking order, if you can call it that as she shares her paddock with a cow, two bucket reared calves and two pet sheep. Usually the order goes cow, calf one, calf two, sheep one, Rose, sheep two.
It's spring here in Australia so mares are coming into heat, but I've not had a lot to do with mares cycles so I need educating
Three days ago Rose turned her butt to me for the first time ever, id been talking to her over the fence and she very deliberately turned and swung her butt toward me and planted her feet so I got after her and made her yield her quarters then 'chased her' at walking speed down the paddock, just kept her moving and kept my body language very assertive, made her move around where I wanted her etc.
Yesterday she actually put her ears back at the two calves and stole their patch of grass and today she chased the two sheep around with her ears pinned and teeth at the ready. I caught her at it so I sent her off down the paddock much like I had the other day. Then she seemed to settle back down.
She's also been parading around the paddock with her tail raised.

I think she's on heat and that's the reason for this behavior. Hubby thinks she's just being a b##ch.

What else should I be doing, and have I reacted correctly to behavior so far? Is the first cycle of the season and better of worse that subsequent ones? Will she act out more? Any other advice?
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-02-2013, 08:04 PM
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Yes, some mares can be totally aggressive mean hags when in heat. BUT she still have to respect her handler, no aggression towards humans, behave properly, heat or no heat. Discipline her and forget about what cycle dictates her mood, not an excuse.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-02-2013, 09:03 PM
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My mare was the got real sweet and lovey kind. Shed bug the heck out of my gelding though till he got mad and would kick her. Even after being kicked she didn't get it she was just stupid in heat .

I perfer geldings over mares don't have to deal with heat cycles.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-03-2013, 08:08 AM
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One of my mare ponies is paddocked with a little welsh gelding, and he is usually 'boss', but when she is in her heat cycle she becomes the boss for a few days, then it reverts to him again. She can't stand him when she is in heat, but loves the big geldings in her adjacent paddock and will cosy up to them indiscriminately.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-03-2013, 05:45 PM
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Hi

Vicki your mare is just like you. Once every month she will be a little snotty and sensitive once a year she will be totally out of control. You just have to give her treats and maybe not ride her for that week. The sweet easy going nice push button horse you new yesterday is now a mean snotty sensitive over reacting bomb. This is why I have a gelding!
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-05-2013, 01:30 AM
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I always noticed that many of the mares I've owned over my lifetime had a stronger first heat cycle in the spring than they did in subsequent months but like Waresbear said, being in heat was not a license for them to get away with being rude or disrespectful. Demand the same attitude, work ethic from them that you would any other time.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-05-2013, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VickiRose View Post
What else should I be doing, and have I reacted correctly to behavior so far? Is the first cycle of the season and better of worse that subsequent ones? Will she act out more? Any other advice?
The first one or two cycles is typically more noticeable with regards to changes in attitude, but having had mares for a long time...

The absolute biggest problem I see with people that have "problem" mares is that they are always expecting and looking for mare-ish behavior, and blaming everything on a mare being in season because this is always what they were taught/told to expect. Forget that she's a mare and treat her just like any other horse, every time you interact with her. Unless you're breeding or working near stallions, it does not matter to you that she's a mare in season.

Quote:
Three days ago Rose turned her butt to me for the first time ever, id been talking to her over the fence and she very deliberately turned and swung her butt toward me and planted her feet so I got after her and made her yield her quarters then 'chased her' at walking speed down the paddock, just kept her moving and kept my body language very assertive, made her move around where I wanted her etc.
Yesterday she actually put her ears back at the two calves and stole their patch of grass and today she chased the two sheep around with her ears pinned and teeth at the ready. I caught her at it so I sent her off down the paddock much like I had the other day. Then she seemed to settle back down.
Your response is exactly what I would do. If she has an attitude or being overly aggressive with the other animals, run her off...again, just like you would do with any other horse at any other time. These things happen with all horses regardless of whether they are mares, stallions, or geldings.

Be consistent with your handling and you'll get consistent behavior in return.

Good luck and enjoy.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-06-2013, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice. She's back to her old self now so hopefully it was just a first cycle prob LOL She's gone back to being settled in the pecking order and being respectful on the ground.
PaintHorseMares, thank you for the reassurance that what I did was correct. It seemed logical at the time, but I doubt myself sometimes.
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